Be A Nurse

Be A Nurse

For a List of WA Board of Nursing (WABON) State Approved Nursing Programs

Explore Nursing

What does a nurse do?

The primary role of a nurse is patient advocacy. Nurses usually enjoy working with and helping people. They regularly communicate with patients and are responsible for recording a patient’s medical symptoms and history. A nurse must also collaborate with a team of health care professionals to create an informed patient care plan. Nurses monitor a patient’s health, administer treatments and medications, operate medical equipment, perform diagnostic tests, educate and assist patients about managing illnesses, and provide care while supporting a patient’s dignity.

A nurse might have cared for you when you got sick or injured at school, or when you went to an appointment in a clinic or hospital. Nursing is the largest healthcare profession in our state as well as in the nation. The women and men who are registered nurses work in many different settings and serve all communities.

Nurses need to be:

  • Good communicators
  • Organized
  • Able to relate well to the feelings and thoughts of others
  • Good at math and science
  • Problem solvers
  • At ease with technology
  • Able to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Quick learners

Why choose a career in nursing?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% job growth rate for registered nurses through 2026, and a career in nursing can offer job security and growth throughout your career. Nursing is a profession that blends scientific knowledge with compassion and caring. There are few professions that combine high tech and high touch like nursing.

A few other reasons why nursing is a great career choice for your future include:

  • Nurses are in high demand and enjoy good job security both now and in the future
  • Nurses receive salaries that support greater financial security
  • Nurses enjoy flexible work schedules
  • Nurses can work practically anywhere in the world
  • Nurses contribute to society in meaningful ways
  • Nurses have upward career mobility opportunities
  • Nurses Provide comfort and reassurance to patients

How to Become a Nurse

There is a high need for nurses who represent all ethnic groups and other underrepresented populations.

After you graduate from high school, there are several paths you can take to become a registered nurse. As you search for a program that is best for you, make sure it is on the Washington State Board of Nursing’s list of Approved Nursing Programs in the State of Washington. You can find the list under Quick Links by clicking on Find a nursing program or course.

Nurses’ education teaches them about health and illness and how the body and mind work. They also learn how to manage other members of the healthcare team, such as nursing or medical assistants.

To learn more about navigating the cost of nursing school click here. 

Nursing Program Prerequisite Course Guides

Navigating your nursing education can be complex. With so many programs and pathways into nursing, finding the right path to fit your unique situation and goals takes time and effort. 

To help you better understand your options, WCN created Nursing Program Prerequisite Course Guides. These prerequisite course guide spreadsheets can help you review and compare pre-nursing program course prerequisites for most Washington nursing programs.

Note: These spreadsheets were created to be a general guide to support potential nursing students in mapping out their nursing education. It is reviewed and updated twice a year (generally in late spring and mid-fall) and may not contain the most up-to-date information. For the most up-to-date information on each program, you must visit the program website.

How to Use the WCN Nursing Program Prerequisite Course Guides

  • Anyone with Office365 on their computer can open the spreadsheets directly on our Be A Nurse web page. Once open, there are options in the bottom right hand corner to view the spreadsheet in full screen or download it directly to your computer.
  • For visitors who might not have Office365, a downloadable Excel file link is also available.
  • For visitors unable to download or open an Excel spreadsheet, a PDF version of the information is also available for download.
For the best experience navigating the prerequisite spreadsheet, we recommend downloading and saving the spreadsheet to your computer or a data storage device (like a thumb drive). Once downloaded, the document is yours to edit. You can make changes to the spreadsheet, like hiding rows to compare two or more programs next to each other. You can also save your changes, close the document, and return to the document at your convenience.

Prerequisite Course Guide for Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Programs in WA

Prerequisite Course Guide for Community and Technical College Registered Nurse (RN) Programs in WA

Prerequisite Course Guide for four-year University Prelicensure BSN Registered Nurse (RN) Programs in WA

Four-year Registered Nurse Programs (Coming in June 2024)

Additional Support Guides for College Success

Click the image to view. 
10 Steps to Become A Nurse Diagram

Videos from the Sound Careers in Healthcare Virtual Event, 4/26-30

Nursing is Opportunity presented by WCN Executive Director, Sofia Aragon, JD, BSN, RN 

To be a registered nurse is to make a difference in people’s lives. At the very minimum, nursing provides an income that will support you and your family well. As a career, thousands of opportunities are available to you to help make the world a better place for everyone. This presentation will provide an overview of the many opportunities in nursing.

The Washington Center for Nursing: Resources and information for becoming a nurse in WA state

The Washington Center for Nursing talks with students about what is needed to become a nurse and ways WCN can help.

Thinking About Nursing: OH MY! presented by Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization member Dr. Gayle Robinson

An African American Woman shares a story about what ignited her imagination, her curiosity with biology, chemistry, physics, drawing, poetry, writing and math. She shares a story about her experiences in health care, and the people who helped her along the way in her nursing journey from preschool to PhD.

Nursing: From Social Anxiety to Social Media presented by Nurse Stefan Torres

Nurse Stefan shares how the nursing profession transformed him from an awkward adolescent to an awesome adult, and the steps it takes to get to the life-changing career he never expected.

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